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Recovery Strategy for the Aurora Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis timagamiensis) in Canada (Final)


Aurora trout were initially believed to be a distinct species when first described by Henn and Rickenbach (1925). Since then, others have classified it as a sub-species of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) (Martin 1939; Sale 1967; Qadri 1968 and Behnke 1980), while Vladykov (1954) thought it was more a colour variant of brook trout. Aurora trout are currently considered a race of brook trout (Snucins and Gunn 2000); however, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) has retained the sub-species designation. Aurora trout are known to have existed with sympatric populations of brook trout in their native lakes with little genetic mixing. This supports the recognition of Aurora trout as a distinct evolutionary unit.

Qadri (1968) observed differences between Aurora trout and brook trout in skeletal structure; in particular, the number of trunk vertebrate, the number of ribs with strongly bifid heads, the number of single neural spines and the total number of epineurals. There are also some morphometric differences, including the length of the maxillary.

Species Information

Common Name: Aurora trout

Scientific Name: Salvelinus fontinalis timagamiensis

COSEWIC Status: Endangered

COSEWIC Reason for designation: Formerly extirpated in the wild, re-introduced populations of this species are dependant on continuing intervention such as liming of the lakes to buffer acidity.

Canadian Occurrence: Ontario

COSEWIC Status History: Designated Endangered in April 1987. Status re-examined and confirmed in May 2000. Last assessment based on an updated status report